Since we gave you a free printable for meal planning, I thought it only fitting to share how I do meal planning at my house.
The Mr. and I have been married for seven years. For about six of those years we barely meal planned. It was just the two of us and we ate when we were hungry and sometimes ate different things at different times. Yeah, we tried to sit down together, but the reality was that we were both working full time and sometimes dinner was whatever was quick to pick up on the way home…or frozen pizza.
When Little Mister started eating real food, I realized our meal planning needed to change. We were both still working full time but we had a real human depending on us to provide him with more nutritional food than a bowl of cereal.
The meal plan we shared earlier is very similar to what I use, though I do it all in my planner–I do as much life in my planner as possible, I like it all in one place. The bottom of each day column in my planner is where I put our food plans for the week.
On good weeks I meal plan on Saturday or Sunday and go shopping on Monday. I usually write my grocery list on Monday in my planner. On less than good weeks I meal plan on Monday morning and then we go shopping.
I have a list of what kind of meat we have in our freezer and I update it as we use it. I let my meat inventory guide my meal planning. Once I decide on what kind of meat I’ll be cooking, I’m good to go. I only meal plan our dinners as The Mr. takes leftovers for lunch and the Little Mister and I also eat leftovers or our version of lunchables.
Like many, I use Pinterest to help me with planning yummy meals, especially when it seems like I’m in a rut. There was a time this summer when it seemed we were eating pork chops from the grill ALL THE TIME. I went to Pinterest to find a different pork chop recipe to change it up. I found a wonderful honey glazed pork chop recipe that is pinned on our Recipe board.
And since sometimes it is necessary for The Mr. to start dinner, it is important that my meal plan be visible to him. I got this cool magnetic white board from an online store and it’s perfect for making sure The Mr. knows what’s for dinner! It is stuck to our freezer, he can’t miss it! I love that it also has a place for us to list groceries we need! (and make notes of stuff I need my mom to bring me when she comes to visit.) 🙂
Some weeks meal planning seems like too much work and I try to fly by the seat of my pants. When I do this, really I spend more time making quick trips to the grocery store and spending more money than if I had just sat down to plan our week. To avoid this, I had to find a way to not feel quite so overwhelmed. I usually leave Sunday as leftover day or it’s a day when we eat out after church.
If I don’t plan a leftover day in our week, I plan a Yo-Yo day, which is basically a leftover day, but not always. Yo-Yo comes from my time as a camp counselor and means Your On Your Own, which is basically a fend for yourself night. These nights usually happen when one of us has a meeting or appointment in the evening and won’t be home for dinner.
Another thing that I think is important in meal planning is flexibility! There are some weeks when arrows are drawn, meals are rearranged, or a frozen pizza is thrown in the oven because the day went differently than I had planned.
There you have it–meal planning from our casa to yours! I’ve pinned some of my favorite, quick recipes on our Recipe Board on Pinterest, so check it out. And, in case you missed it…download our meal planning printable!